SoCal Edison to build massive wind farm:
US wind projects scale up. "Southern California Edison on Thursday announced a deal with an Australian firm to build the largest wind energy facility ever built by a U.S. utility. "This is triple anything that's ever been done. It's enormous," said Stuart Hemphill, director of renewable and alternative power for the Rosemead-based utility that supplies power to much of the Coachella Valley. The 20-year contract, to purchase power from a 50-square-mile wind farm slated for the Tehachapi area about 75 miles northeast of Los Angeles, is with Allco Infrastructure of Sydney. .. The deal with Allco, Hemphill said, allows SoCal Edison to begin to take advantage of the Tehachapi area's 4,500 megawatt wind energy potential." Nearby areas (e.g., Palm Springs) have additional GW of capacity. More details
: "All of California's wind farms together produce 2,300 megawatts of power; the Edison deal by itself would boost that number by 65%. The 1,500 megawatts in the new contract are enough to power nearly 1 million typical homes in Edison's 50,000-square-mile service territory. The Edison project would produce more than twice the electricity of the biggest U.S. wind farm, near Abilene, Texas. ..
In California, all utilities are pushing to meet a goal of generating 20% of the state's power needs from renewable sources by 2010. The looming deadline has triggered a flurry of new contracts by the energy companies lining up so-called green power. Although the deal announced Thursday would double Edison's wind energy production, the utility said it would still struggle to meet the 2010 target.
Company executives said the first batch of power from the project was expected to come online in 2010, but additional supply would have to be phased in over several years. The timeline — and the fate of the entire project — depends on whether and when the utilities can build a transmission line to carry the new wind power from the turbines to the state's power grid .. Edison and other utilities are working with state regulators on plans to construct the necessary transmission line. But the price tag is $1.8 billion, and the approval process for such projects can be contentious and lengthy." I wonder what the rollout of big wind would look like with national government backing, like the Tennessee Valley Authority or Bonneville Power Administration had in past years. This area has 4500 MW capacity, and it's news to grow to half that. 12:37:55 AM